Eighteen vendors turned out for the launch of the 16th season of the Oconee Farmers Market in front of the Courthouse in Watkinsville on Saturday.
The market opening was only one of a number of activities Saturday in downtown Watkinsville, with the Easter Egg Hunt on Rocket Field drawing a large crowd.
Less well attended was Enviro Fest at Harris Shoals Park, where the Oconee County Historical Society, the Georgia Forestry Commission, Keep Oconee County Beautiful Commission and other groups offered information about their environmental programs.
The Oconee Welcome Center celebrated its reopening, and businesses on Main Street and local area canine adoption agencies attempted to attract members of the crowd.
Harris Shoals Park also will be the location for an Earth Day event from 1 to 3 p.m. this coming Saturday that is being organized by the Oconee County Democratic Party. The event is nonpartisan.
The Oconee County Board of Commissioners will hold a Town Hall Meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Oconee Veterans Park.
I attempted to capture the events of Saturday in the clips assembled into the very short video (less than three minutes in duration) below.
Vendors at the Farmers Market were offering early vegetables, plants, beef, baked goods, dog biscuits, canned goods, soaps and novelties.
Athens Canine Rescue had animals to show for adoption, and Oconee Animal Control and Oglethorpe Animal Control had dogs looking for homes at booths across the street on the lawn of Watkinsville First United Methodist Church.
The Watkinsville Trade and Tourism Association put out more than 6,000 plastic eggs for children in Rocket Field.
Children aged three and under got to look for the eggs first, in an area for their age group. Many of the children ran past the eggs.
Not so for the older children. They raced toward the eggs and showed mastery of the “hunting” activity.
Keep Oconee County Beautiful Commission, the Oconee Historical Society, the Lewis F. Rogers Institute for Environmental and Spatial Analysis at the University of North Georgia, and the Upper Oconee Watershed Network all had tables set up at Harris Shoals for Enviro Fest.
So did the Georgia Forestry Commission and the Oconee County Water Resources Department.
The City of Watkinsville helped organize the event.
The Oconee Welcome Center, located just next door to the Courthouse, opened its doors to show off a renovation that includes a change of display space and repainting.
The Center is operated by the Oconee County Tourism Department.
Earth Day Event
The Earth Day event on April 20 will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. in and around the large covered pavilion at Harris Shoals Park, which also was the area used by the Enviro Fest.
Attendees will be able to meet a possum rehabilitator, learn how to avoid chiggers, plant seeds, help Monarch butterflies, distinguish good bugs from bad ones, and cook with energy-efficient Instant Pots or solar cookers.
About 20 groups, such as Georgia Forest Watch, the Natural History Museum, Sandy Creek Nature Center, and the Upper Oconee Watershed Network, and scientists from different disciplines will be set up activities and displays and offer practical information about how people can make a difference.
Visitors also will have a chance to learn about things such as the case for global climate change, what not to recycle, tips for helping birds, why it is important to pick up after a dog, and how to compost and control mosquitoes.